Dukan FAQ


Gold Member
This FAQ is aimed at those starting out, so covers mostly questions that arise during Attack and Cruise. Most the answers will have a UK bias too, there are forum members from other countries so do speak up if you need help (or have advice) for elsewhere.

Do introduce yourself

Before starting the Dukan diet please read the book, this forum is not a substitute for this step.

The book has gone through many changes and different markets have slightly different rules but you do need to read it, as they all outline what a big commitment the Dukan diet is. It is not a quick fix diet, it is a lifetime plan.

If after reading this you still have questions

Use the search function.

If you still have questions, use the subject line of your post to ask your question

Write "How much Oatbran can I eat in Attack" will get the answer you need much faster than a "Help needed" or "I don't understand"

No one is trying to discourage posters but everyone is happier and more helpful when its something new to answer, you'll notice quickly how often things come up.

If you decide Dukan is right for you do start a diary Dukan Diaries - MiniMins.com - Weight Loss Support Forum we’re a nosey lot and find it easier to help when we know a bit about you. It can be very useful to look back and see when things were going right or wrong.

The FAQ on the UK Dukan site
Slimming programme, fast weight loss, slimming diet: Pierre Dukan FAQs

Do fill out your stats, don't feel embarrassed, it is unlikely you’ll be the largest person who ever joined, and even if you are, so what, you will be getting smaller shortly.

Online (not on the app) at the top of the page there is the user cp, fill out your age, height and weight. Advice for someone who has 50lbs to lose will be very different to someone who only has 5 left to go.

What is my True weight? How many days should I do attack for?
Go to Official UK Dukan Diet website: Diets for Quick Weight Loss, Diet menus to help you lose weight fill out the information to find your true weight and how many days you should do attack for.

What can I eat on attack?
If you’re asking this you haven't read the book. Please read the book.
Also see http://www.minimins.com/dukan-diet/152249-dukan-food-list-attack.html
and http://www.minimins.com/dukan-diet/254782-list-dukan-safe-foods-new-people.html

I’m on day x of attack, have a headache and feel AWFUL, is this normal?
The bad news is yes its normal, many experience headaches and flu like symptoms during attack.
The good news is it will pass, your appetite is about to decrease and you might get a spurt of energy.
Carb withdrawal and entry to ketosis can be painful, keep drinking water, eating protein and soon it will pass.

Can I do extra time on attack?
Attack is a short shock to your system, to get you out of eating carbs and into ketosis. It is not a way to eat long term, you need your vegetables. Yes it is great to have the fast loses, but the constipation and lack of variety are not fun. Stick to the length of time Dr D recommends.

What do PP and PV mean?
PP is Pure Protein and PV is protein and vegetables.

What pattern of PP/PV should I do?
Whatever works best for you, some like 1/1 for the variety, some like 5/5 to use all veg in one stretch and stop it going off, Some like to ensure weekends are always PV.

Which yogurts can I eat?
Fat free Natural yogurt and fat free fromage frais are best, these can be sweetened with sweetener and flavoured to your tastes with vanilla, cinnamon, coffee etc. Or add herbs and black pepper to make a savoury dip.

Many in the UK like total 0% which has a terrific texture. Supermarket own brands also have very low fat versions.

You may see reference to Muller light and Weight watcher toffee and vanilla flavoured yogurts on old menus and in diarys, these used to be the recommended ones in the UK but are no longer due to their sugar content. In the early days of the launch of the diet in the UK they seemed to want to find UK equivalents to the french options, but there are some things we just dont have.

In France the recommended yogurts are the Sveltesse Ferme & Fondant ones (and ONLY the 0% ones, not the chocolate, etc. ones which have been added to the range which are "1.something" fat).

Fat free, sugar free fruit yogurts are allowed if they contain no fruit pieces.

What is oatbran?
Food guide, healthy nutrition, oat bran: Pierre Dukan diet

Where can I buy oatbran?
In the UK, Supermarkets and healthfood shops stock oatbran.

I cant find oatbran can I use porridge oats instead?
No. If your country doesn’t have easy access to it, consider ordering online or asking a friend to send you some.

What can I do with oatbran?
Dukan Recipes - MiniMins.com - Weight Loss Support Forum See the recipe section. Our members are very creative and have come up with all sorts of ways to use it, muffins, cakes, bread, biscuits.

Whats a Gallette? How do I make it? My gallete was a disaster....

I’m fed up, this diet offers no variety, there is nothing I can eat.

If you’re eating chicken 2 meals a day, 7 days a week its not surprising you’re sick of the sight of it and bored.
There are far more options out there than just chicken, take a look in the menu thread http://www.minimins.com/dukan-diet/152848-daily-menus.html and in the recipe section
Dukan Recipes - MiniMins.com - Weight Loss Support Forum try something new, you might like it.

I’m a vegetarian, is Dukan suitable for me?
Its not ideal, it will be difficult, but not impossible. If you’re a pescatarian it will be much easier to get your protein and keep variety.

I’m a vegetarian are there any different rules?
Slimming programme, fast weight loss, slimming diet: Pierre Dukan FAQs

What are tolerated foods, how many can I eat?
The Dukan diet can be a long slog and boredom can set in if you get stuck in a rut. Tolerated foods are there to help get through the difficult times and are not for everyday use. They are not for attack.

Why am I not losing any weight? Why have I stalled?
Are you already at a healthy weight? If so Dukan might not work for you.

Are you sticking only to the foods on the list for your stage? If so and you haven't had a loss for 2 weeks Dr D recommends cutting back on dairy and increasing your walking. Also stop eating tolerated foods and keep an eye on your salt intake.

Post your menus so we can see what you are eating, its really important to post quantities if you are having problems, eating too much or too little will affect your losses.

Eating as much as you need is not the same as eating as much as you can.

Equally eating too little – especially too little protein will cause your body to revolt.

Do be patient with yourself, we don't all lose at the same rate all the time, stress, time of the month, a big loss the week before, will all have an impact.

Constipation, transit, blockages
Constipation is an unfortunate side affect of the Dukan diet. Don't be afraid to bring it up.

Shopping lists
Do read the book, and make a list based on the food you’re allowed at your stage.
The food list for attack is http://www.minimins.com/dukan-diet/152249-dukan-food-list-attack.html
Ideas are http://www.minimins.com/dukan-diet/225121-new-dukan-shopping-list-staples.html

I only have 7lbs to lose and I want to start Dukan...
Please don't, if you have a healthy BMI or only a small amount to use you can adjust your existing eating and exercise and still be successful.

Why cant I have xyz?
Because its not on the list, which usually means its too high in fat and/or carbs.

But I really want to eat/drink xyz, my friend said its okay
Then eat it but don't complain that you’re not losing and feel dreadful. If you really cant go without try a diet where you can.

Dukan is hard work and not for everyone.

I’ve messed up, what should I do?
It happens. Don’t do it again ;)
Drink lots of water and do a few pp days, no need to go back to attack unless you’ve had an extended time away from Dukan.

Which Flavourings can I use?

I’m going on holiday/road trip/away, what should I do, what can I eat?

The Dukan Holiday Diet: How to stay slim for good | Mail Online

Is the coaching worth paying for?
Its up to you. If you do a quick internet search you’ll find many people unhappy with the service and if you look at the UK dukan site chat transcripts you see the level of english they use.
Most the information you need is in the book and we’re all here for motivation.

I cant get 0%, What % of fat is okay for yogurt, cottage cheese, mince....
Cottage cheese (and other good advice)

Too much water?

People on here talk about ketosis, what is it?
Ketosis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I have bad breath and/or dry mouth is this normal?
Unfortunately yes, you can drink lots of water and chew sugar free gum to help.

Can I have diet pepsi, coke zero.....
Yes drinks with 1 cal per serving are allowed. This excludes some diet fruit drinks and flavoured waters which have higher calories.

This diet is expensive, how can I cut costs?

Bargains are listed http://www.minimins.com/dukan-diet/165299-dukan-budget.html please do add to this when you spot something.
In the UK Compare Supermarket Prices | Online Supermarket Shopping - mySupermarket is great for finding special offers.

Remember you’re probably saving by not having take-away, eating out less and not drinking.

What are Konjac noodles? What is konnyaku?


Goji berries?
Goji berries have since become a tolerated item, 1 teaspoon on pp days, 2 teaspoons on pv days

How many eggs can I have?

Can I eat Quorn?

Can I eat Sugar free jelly?
Yes on all stages no more than 3 portions a day

Can I eat Rhubarb?
Yes as a tolerated item on pp days(but would suggest thins only if you have transit issues) and freely like any other vegetable on pv days.

Can I drink tea and coffee?
Yes, as long as you use no sugar(sweetener is fine) and skimmed milk from allowance. Any leaf tea is allowed, green tea, fruit tea, mint tea......

How much protein should I eat? How much protein do foods contain?
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If ive missed anything or have any glaring mistakes please PM me rather than turn this thread into a debate and I'll get it edited in.
I know exercise/the walk is missing if anyone has a good link or paragraph shout.
Brilliant work team!
i found that really good, and it should be a great place to direct new members, thanks to all who put the time in, im sure it wasnt a quick thing to put together, so that new members like me can benefit.
Thanks for this thread, I have found it very usefull,
If you want to think more about why Dukan works, try the summary below of Gary Taubes arguments in "why we get Fat". Dukan differs from Taubes over the issue of fat as he thinks it is bad to add cholesterol to you bloodstream when it is already breaking down the cholesterol from stored cells.

Summary of key points from Gary Taubes

The "calories in, calories out theories" are wrong as a means for dieting. They are true only when the body is fully in balance and can keep the delicate relationship. Because

1. It only takes very few over a period to overeat, calorie wise (20 cals per day, which is almost unmeasurable with normal eating);
2 Many populations who are starving are also overweight (quotes extensive research)
3 If you reduce cals over a period, your body gets good at retrieval, you also get less active, your metabolism slows down and binges are highly likely as cravings for carbohydrate increase.
4. To continue to lose weight therefore using this theory you have to cut calories even further and potentially you could still be overweight on a starvation diet. First chance the body has to build up again it does and you quickly return to where you started. This is why low cal diets fail (85%).

The activity of insulin is crucial:

When insulin in the bloodstream rises, fatty deposits are formed; when insulin falls, fat in the cells begins to be used as fuel by the body
Insulin in the bloodstream is raised by carbohydrates including sugar but also starches.
To lower insulin activity we must reduce starch and sugar intake.

Carbohydrate drives insulin which drives fat. To counter the effects of this, cutting carbs will be effective only if protein and fat are increased, otherwise to get glycogen for energy the muscles are robbed, leading to lethargy and unwellness.

The body burns carbohydrates before it burns fat. If you eat plenty of carbohydrates, your body takes longer to get to the fat and needs to burn less of it, because the insulin uses first what is available as blood sugar before allowing your body to turn to the fat cells.

When we eat a meal, insulin is released immediately in several waves to act on the carbs. When insulin is in the bloodstream the fat cells are effectively locked and the fatty acids can't be drawn out to use for energy as the insulin is busy turning the carbs into energy and fat. When the carbs are mostly dealt with, if there is still insulin in the blood, the cells still can't be used for the energy they should provide, so we get that low blood sugar slump and feel tired and hungry. Our cells are wanting more and say so loudly! This is why carbs on a diet can give problems. Stepping up the protein and fat intake gives energy for muscles and doesn't flood the blood with too much insulin. Insulin is still secreted when we eat protein rich foods but in a more measured way. Insulin ensures that proteins are sent to the muscles. No meal should consist of only carbs, even good ones. So cereal, toast for breakfast without protein is not good, but add an egg or some cheese and ham or smoked salmon and you improve it.

People are more likely to be sedentary because they are fat than fat because they're sedentary. If your muscles are being robbed of glycogen on a low cal diet, you don't feel like exercise either.

Pre-diabetics have raised blood sugar because their bodies are becoming resistant to insulin, so it is less effective at taking the sugars from the blood and putting them into fat stores. This results in more insulin production, higher carbohydrate craving and more storage of sugars as fats. Insulin resistance also affects many people as they get older, promoting more fat storage and carb reliance.

Lipoprotein Lipase. LPL . Attaches itself to cells and draws in the fats from the bloodstream. If attached to muscle cell LPL draws fat into the muscle to burn as energy, if attached to fat cells it draws fat into them to store. Oestrogen inhibits LPL in fat cells. If ovaries are removed, LPL increases and attaches much more to fat cells, so more fat is stored in the body. These fatty cells will remain even under conditions of semi starvation. So women may get fatter with menopause.

Exercise, while good for you in many ways, does not really help you lose weight unless you are using it excessively. During activity, the LPL on your fat cells stops pulling in fatty acid energy and your muscle LPL starts to pull in fats to use. If more is needed then it will be taken from your fat stores. But when the exercise stops, this reverses and LPL starts to pull in fat again into fat cells from the available carbohydrates in your blood. This is why you crave carbs after exercise, but should quickly have protein.

HSL, hormone sensitive lipase. This breaks down the triglycerides in your fat cells so the small molecule fatty acids can go through the cell wall

Insulin again

Insulin and the hormones it influences decide how much will be used, how much stored and where. This varies with heredity from person to person, and also according to circumstances, ages, stages and environmental factors. Also how sensitive to insulin your body is, as this decreases with age anyway. If your body has also been experiencing flooding with insulin because of high carb intake, not only will you be storing fat but you will be pre diabetic as your cells will be desensitising themselves to insulin. Muscle cells are more likely to do this than fat cells, so more of the sugars and fats will be going into fat storage cells than muscle cells.

Fructose and alcohol are slightly different in that they are processed directly in the liver, converted into fats and stored in the cells there. Most sugar has glucose and fructose together, so while one is coking up in your liver the other is raising your adrenalin levels. The more of these we have in our diet the more adept the body gets at converting them to fat. Also, there seems to be a link between higher fructose induced fat in the liver with higher insulin resistance in the muscles, which makes it harder to use the muscles effectively. Alcohol forms citrates in the liver that increases the conversion of fructose to fat.
Wow! This thread has been so useful .. thank you so much .. I have now taken changed my supermarket order .. who would have though value cottage cheese was lower in fat than lighter choices eh!?
excellent, I have found all of my answers here. Thanks for your time in putting it together.
A couple of questions for everyone?

Has anyone experienced bad skin during the attack phase? If so does it disappear once you move onto cruise?

Also things have really slowed down in the toilet department (sorry to be so crude)! Am drinking lots of water, 2 litres every day. I'm presuming this will also balance out when on cruise!

Not lost anything on attack so going to give it another 2 days then move to cruise (total of 6 attack)

Thanks very much
Please don't post questions here.
Hey, im new to this and to dukan! I subscribed online to dukan and start 2morrow. Trouble is i do 3 12.5hr shifts a week and like to prepare my lunch the night bfore.. But the website does not give me my day meal plan till on the day and i dont really have time b4 wrk to prepare food. Any ideas for a typical attack day or what a packed lunch would b a good idea? Hope this works... Still not sure how to wrk my phne let alone this app lol x
im on th crusie phase , are we allowed to eat vegitable crisp?

Also i needs to guidlines on how much carb and cal per 100g i should allowed? what is the max? I have the book their is no reference to this expet to look out for double digit figures?